I think I never hated slavery so intensely as at that moment; certainly, my perception of the enormous outrage which is in- flicted by it, on the godlike nature of its victims, was rendered far more clear than ever.
I reminded the audience of the peril which surrounded this self- emancipated young man at the North,--even in Mas- sachusetts, on the soil of the Pilgrim Fathers, among the descendants of revolutionary sires; and I ap- pealed to them, whether they would ever allow him to be carried back into slavery,--law or no law, con- stitution or no constitution.
She was simply a victim of the system of slavery. I cannot remember having slept in a bed until after our family was declared free by the Emancipation Proclamation.
During the period that I spent in slavery I was not large enough to be of much service, still I was occupied most of the time in cleaning the yards, carrying water to the men in the fields, or going to the mill to which I used to take the corn, once a week, to be ground.
But a slave-trade, as systematic as ever was carried on on the coast of Africa, is an inevitable attendant and result of American slavery. And its heart-break and its horrors, can they be told?
If the mothers of the free states had all felt as they should, in times past, the sons of the free states would not have been the holders, and, proverbially, the hardest masters of slaves; the sons of the free states would not have connived at the extension of slavery, in our national body; the sons of the free states would not, as they do, trade the souls and bodies of men as an equivalent to money, in their mercantile dealings.
Slavery is not a whit the more endurable because some hearts are to be found which can partially resist its hardening influences; nor can the indignant tide of honest wrath stand still, because in its onward course it overwhelms a few who are comparatively innocent, among a host of guilty.
The ground most commonly taken by these better men among the advocates of slavery, is this: 'It is a bad system; and for myself I would willingly get rid of it, if I could; most willingly.
To be sure I often broke this rule, as people are apt to do with rules of the kind; it was not possible for a boy to wade through heavy articles relating to English politics and economics, but I do not think I left any paper upon a literary topic unread, and I did read enough politics, especially in Blackwood's, to be of Tory opinions; they were very fit opinions for a boy, and they did not exact of me any change in regard to the slavery
When the majority shall at length vote for the abolition of slavery, it will be because they are indifferent to slavery, or because there is but little slavery left to be abolished by their vote.
I know this well, that if one thousand, if one hundred, if ten men whom I could name--if ten honest men only--ay, if one HONEST man, in this State of Massachusetts, ceasing to hold slaves, were actually to withdraw from this co-partnership, and be locked up in the county jail therefor, it would be the abolition of slavery in America.
One section of our country believes slavery
is RIGHT, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is WRONG, and ought not to be extended.
I will not even allude to the many heart-sickening atrocities which I authentically heard of; -- nor would I have mentioned the above revolting details, had I not met with several people, so blinded by the constitutional gaiety of the negro as to speak of slavery
as a tolerable evil.
And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery
out of the most extreme form of liberty?
It took us two years to get out of that slavery
. We traveled all about Germany, receiving no wages, and not even our keep.